About Shree Gajanan Maharaj Shegaon
Shree Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon, is an exalted saint from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra state in India. He appeared in Shegaon on February 23rd, 1878 as a young person and entered in ‘maha-samadhi’ on September 8th, 1910. There is no definite information on when and where Maharaj was born, and how he came to Shegaon. In a short period of 32 years, He enlightened many people by His legendary charisma. He is believed to be from the lineage of the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya as mentioned in Shripad Shri Vallabh Charitramrut originally authored by Shri Shankar Bhat, a contemporary of Sripad Sri Vallabh ( 1320-1350) ( Chapter 41) which states that one of the two brothers of Sripad Sri Vallabha, the first Datta avatar, would take rebirth as Swami Ramdas in the 17th century, who in turn would take rebirth as Gajanan Maharaj in Shivagaon in the 19th century. Incidentally in Chapter 9 of Shree Gajanan Vijay Granth, Hari Bhakt Parayan (HBP) Das Ganu Maharaj illustrates the episode when Gajanan Maharaj gives darshan to Balkrishna Buwa Ramdasi in Balapur in the form of Swami Ramdas. The biography written by HBP Das Ganu Maharaj in 1939 is adopted as the official biography and authorized by the Shegaon Sansthan. However, there are some other documented stories written by Nagalkar, Nimonkar and others which claim that Maharaj was first seen in 1888 and not in 1878, a good ten years later. We leave it for readers to decide what to go by. We will, however, go by the HBP Das Ganu version in the paras to follow.
Shree Gajanan Maharaj is called as an Avadhuta; a yogi whose sole purpose is to help his devotees realize God; an ascetic who may appear to be unaware of his surroundings and the state of his body, but who truly knows the past, present and future. Lovingly called as Mauli, a mother who just simply cares for the physical and spiritual well-being of her children (devotees) and firmly stands by them in all situations. Although many years have passed since Maharaj left his mortal coil, His devotees still experience realization, guidance and blessings, seen as ‘miracles’. He is the ‘Sadguru’ for many, leading to life changing situations for them through difficult times.
During His time, Maharaj spoke very little and even when He did, those around could not follow as He always uttered words in a cryptic manner. But the words would come true when verified many months or years later. His actions were unpredictable and difficult for common man to understand and there are many documented references of Maharaj being able to walk with extraordinary speed or having travelled from distant places within a few minutes. A Parabrahma in the human form, He is still a strong guiding force for many, even after so many years having passed after His physical appearance, especially for those who remember him faithfully. He is known to appear in the dreams of several of His devotees even today to guide them. He would often be seen in a state of trance, singing His favourite song “Chandan Chawal Bael Ki Patiya, Shivji ke Mathe Dharo re” or “Gana Gana Ganaat Bote” or mutter “Apasthambu Vaiduhi” or “Yeshmistambu Vaiduhi”, which have some resemblance to Telengana language but the meaning is uninterpreted as of today.